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Replace Porch Steps – Front Porch Fixer-Upper

January 7, 2014 in Building and Repurposing, Outside

Disclaimer – This post on how to replace porch steps is not riveting… nor is it awe inspiring… but I hope it IS confidence boosting. If I can do it, YOU can do it!

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I sold my house this past fall.  Before I could put it on the market, there were some improvements that needed to be made. My Mom and sister, Christy, came to visit one weekend to help crank out some projects. While they were in town, my Mom made it her personal mission to get the ball rolling on my front porch. On top of tiling my bathroom and installing a new vanity with Christy, my mom scraped the chipping paint and applied the first coat of primer to the porch. It was just the motivation I needed!

After they left, I ran to the store to purchase some grey outdoor paint. I managed to get two coats on the porch within 48 hours of their leaving. It felt SO good to be making progress!


…but there was one problem…


The Steps!

They were a hot mess. Not even worthy of a fresh coat of paint. Let’s face it.. .for 2+ years I’d kept kicking the bottom riser to make sure it was still supporting the first step. It was just waiting to fall apart.

IMG_0287…I’m not proud.  Just being honest.

Why didn’t I fix it sooner?  Well – I didn’t think I could! In fact, I was convinced I couldn’t. Joke’s on my – it was MUCH easier than I thought!


Step one – Rip them out.  Not surprisingly, the rotten boards didn’t put up much fight. I used a crowbar and heavy hammer to knock the boards loose. It took all of 2 minutes… maybe.


Snag a broom and sweep up all those leaves!  I took note of how the last stringers and risers were attached. This shouldn’t be too bad!

After a quick trip to Lowe’s, I had two ready-to-go stringers, screws and the boards I’d need for my treads.  Let’s do this!


I used the old stringer to determine where I’d need to make my cuts. A couple quick chops with my miter saw and this bad boy was ready to go on.


At this point, I was smiling ear to ear. This was really going to work!  My confidence was starting to shift! My neighbors were probably wondering what was up with the crazy girl smiling as she screwed boards onto her porch.  Nothin’ to see here people – just go on aboutcho bidness.


I was on a motivation roll… why not go ahead and prime them, right?! I raced the sunset to get my first coat on. Woop!

IMG_0359b…and I’m proud to say -

I did this project ALL. BY. MYSELF.  - and it turned out AWESOME!


I knew when people came to look at my house, the porch would make a great first impression.  - and don’t worry, I spruced up those flower beds too! I just had to wait until the last minute to plant things. I have a way of killing plants and didn’t want them to all die before my house was actually on the market.

What’s the moral of this long-winded DIY tale?  Don’t sell yourself short!  We’re all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. So get up, get out there and just do it!





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Soda Crate Dog Feeder

November 11, 2013 in Building and Repurposing, Do it your Dog-Gone Self, Gettin' Crafty, Pups

Vintage Soda Crate Dog Feeder!

Vintage Soda Crate Dog Feeder

I ventured into the garage one Sunday, determined to make raised dog feeders for both of them. I quickly realized I didn’t have the right boards on hand and was too lazy to go to Lowes. …and then I spotted it. The Oklahoma Beverage Co. vintage crate that Christy gave me. Oh happy day! I had an idea!

Here’s a run-down on how I did it:

Soda Crate Dog Feeder How To DIY

First, I found a piece of scrap plywood I had lying around and cut it to the appropriate size for my crate. Then, I traced circles on the boards for my silver dog bowls. Using a drill, I created starter-holes to make it easier to cut the circles out with my jigsaw. Easy Peasy! Then I stained both sides of the plywood with Minwax Express Color Wiping Stain in Crimson to match the worn red lettering on the crate.  I attached plates to the bottom and screwed in the bun feet. Staining them with Minwax Weathered Oak gave them the perfect aged tone to complement the crate without competing.  I attached the top with hinges just in case someone wanted to store things inside or make it easier to clean/dust.

…and when all was said and done:

Soda Crate Dog Feeder Collage

and insert cute lab.  Thanks Quinn for being our model.

IMG_6229If only it was a hair taller. Just a smidge to short for my big lab and leggy boxer. I’m completely smitten with it!

Just what you’re looking for?  It’s for sale on ETSY!  Snag this Vintage Soda Crate Dog Feeder before someone else does! If you’re close to St. Louis (or Tulsa, Oklahoma) and interested in purchasing, shoot me an email. Depending on timing, you could pick up in St. Louis or Tulsa and save the shipping fee!

Such a great dog feeder to add a little vintage character to your pooch’s mealtime!


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On the Market

September 3, 2013 in Building and Repurposing

Welp, it’s official – my house is for sale… and with any luck, in a few weeks my house will be sold. I’m cautiously optimistic and hoping everything goes through. We already had one buyer hiccup, but that’s been ironed out and things are moving forward again. Keep your fingers crossed please!

In the meantime, I thought I’d kick off my Back To Blogging posts with a short photo tour. You’ll see some familiar projects and some others that are brand spanking new. Tutorials to follow of course!

Without further ado, here’s a look at my little abode. Fair warning – some of these photos are a bit grainy because my realtor snapped them. Isn’t it funny how some people think to take photos from angles you’d never imagined?

Front Yard

Front Porch

My front porch got a minor facelift – freshly painted grey and I built new stairs. Yep. Me. All by myself! I wanted to ask for more than once, but I pushed through and was SUPER proud when it was all said and done. I’ll give you a run-down on the good, the bad and the ugly in the coming weeks.

750 2nd St 9

Former projects pictured: Coffee Table Makeover  |  Tripod Lamp  |  Gallery Wall  |  Dog Gate

When you come through my sunny yellow front door, you step right into the living room. I’ve always loved the high ceilings and skylights!

750 2nd St 14

You’ve seen this room many times of course. (Maybe because it’s my favorite?)

Here’s a look back into the living room, taken while standing in the dining space:

750 2nd St 8

Former Projects Pictured:  Water Street Driftwood Sign

That lovely neutral Mexican blanket was one of my tourist snags while vacationing in Cabo earlier this year. I adore it!  (…and yes, I was the crazy girl buying a blanket on a 95 degree day!)

750 2nd St 13

Previous Projects Pictured:  DIY Silhouette Prints  |  Kitchen Table Makeover  |  Grain Sack Chairs  |  Board & Batten

Walking through the living room, you’ll find yourself in my now very sparse dining area. For most of my time in this house, I had built-in banquette seating that was only 99% finished. I never blogged about it because I fell into the bad habit of using it as-is and never TOTALLY finished the project. DIY Blogger FAIL. J Now that it’s gone, I wish I had more chairs. That banquette was GREAT storage though!

750 2nd St 11

Previous Projects Pictured:  Antique Cutting Board  |  Butcher Block Island Makeover

This picture is snapped from waaaay back in the corner behind the table. No really… I couldn’t have sucked any further into the corner!  That butcher block island has been a savior and much-loved extra counter space in my living room. I love that I can pull up a stool and work on crafty projects while having a front-row seat to the TV in the living room.

750 2nd St 10

Previous Projects Pictured:  Mason Jar Pendant Light  |  Mason Jar Soap PumpMilk Crate Wine Rack (Just out of sight)

I’ll definitely miss the high ceilings and open floorplan in this house. For a little cottage-style house, it sure does feel big… to me!


Standing here, looking into the kitchen… now turn 180 degrees and walk forward and you’ll find yourself looking at the doorways into both bedrooms.  The third closed door goes down to the basement.  First, the master bedroom:

750 2nd St 1

Previous Projects Pictured:  Union Jack Nightstand  |  My First BUILD Project EVER – Ana White Spa Bench  |  Do What You Love Sign

This is a room I never showed enough! There are several tutorials to come!

750 2nd St 2

Previous Projects Pictured:  Chalkboard Calendar  |  Milk Crate Shoe Organizer

750 2nd St 3

I’ll also miss the walk-in closets. What a handy little house!

750 2nd St 4

This modest master bath got a recent facelift thanks to my awesome Mom and sister, Christy!  Don’t know what I’d do without those gals! I’d probably still be twiddling my thumbs  trying to decide which project to tackle first so I could get my house on the market!

750 2nd St 7

Previous Projects Pictured:  Industrial Stool Makeover  |  Workbench Makeover  |  Bathroom Makeover

The guest room doesn’t really look like a guest room these days. It’s actually morphed into my project space! Would you believe that door on the right is ALSO a walk-in closet!? Man!  There’s another large closet in this room that doubles as an optional main-floor laundry space, but I opted to use it for a home office for the first year when I actually had a guest bed in this room… and eventually it became craft overflow (we all have those spaces, right?  RIGHT?!)

I’ll spare you the details of my basement. It’s a partially finished space that I barely made a dent in. My greatest contribution to the basement was painting the red ceiling white. Yep… mind-blowing, huh?


Previous Projects Pictured: Wine Bottle Tiki Torches 

Stepping outside, you head through my gate and into the privacy-fenced backyard. Clearly I’m not good at growing grass…   (Hangs head in shame)  In my defense, my dogs were also anti-grass… they did their best to run hard and fast and beat every blade down.

I’m proud to say I built that raised cedar garden bed… and three years it’s still standing strong! Sadly I didn’t plant anything this year. I had some herbs come back on their own, but I didn’t want to baby a garden knowing I’d be moving in the peak harvest time. (Is that selfish?)


This great awning is what keeps my basement bone dry in a storm. Love!  My awesome Dad set the posts and built the roof. Then I started tackling the railing after he left. Turns out 2 hands might not be enough… I also enlisted the help of my right foot… but was still dropping screws. Big Guy to the rescue!  He was nice enough to brave one of the hottest days of the summer and sweat-through some DIY. (I pay him in cold beverages!)

That building you see in the background is my AWESOME shed. It’s huge people. REALLY huge. It has French doors and is fully insulated. I always wanted to deck it out Better Homes and Gardens style and make an amazing outdoor oasis… but well… my house didn’t come with a money tree.  As a first time homeowner, I can definitely say you buy a house with dreams of amazing renovations… and then you realize those things cost money. #grownupproblems

So that’s my house – not perfect, but perfectly me!  I can’t wait to show you some projects in the coming weeks… and hopefully celebrate on my closing date!

dana red signature 400

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